Wheat Growers Encouraged to Participate in Great Plains Sawfly Survey Project

July 24, 2023

The wheat stem sawfly has been a key pest in several locations throughout wheat production areas of the Great Plains. The Great Plains Sawfly Survey Project is a multi-state collaborative project taking place to determine areas of wheat stem sawfly infestation and current practices related to its mitigation on farm yields and profits.

Colorado Wheat Growers Association president Justin Lewton from Bennett says the wheat stem sawfly is a big issue for wheat growers.

"So right in this area, we've only really seen it the last 3 or 4 years" said Lewton. "We've been able to stay with hollow stem varieties up until then. Last year and the year before, we're both kind of eye openers for a lot of people in the area that hadn't experienced it because thin stands and soft wire, just a recipe for disaster. My opinion is if you have sawfly, you've lost 30% of your yield right off the top."

He says this is why it's so important for farmers to participate in the Great Plains Sawfly Survey project.

"Well, it's huge," said Lewton. "Farmers in other states like Montana have been facing it for 25 years or longer. It was tough to try and get funding and research dollars for something that was deemed only as a one state problem. So, when we can work together because we all have a common goal it becomes a lot easier to go back to D.C. and and talk to legislators about research funding. When we can start having those conversations, it becomes a lot easier challenge to manage. It's not just one load that's being lifted by one person type deal"

He hopes other wheat growers will join him and take part in this very important survey, which only takes a few minutes to complete.

"In 20 minutes you can have the survey done," said Lewton. "A lot of the questions are what have you seen? How does it does it impact you? Does it change what you're doing? Will it change what you're doing going forward? And it gives it gives perspective of of the scope of the problem."

To read more about the survey effort and to be part of the survey, visit https://go.unl.edu/gpss

Source: Western Ag Network